June 1, 1999

On the Other Hand, Diamonds!

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How to Disclose Without Botching the Sale

the vocabulary we use to present gemstone jewelry to customers has undergone major changes in recent years. in the old days we could get by with characterizing a gemstone simply as beautiful, rare, an important gem to own, a magnificent specimen. today, new terms have crept into the lexicon. now, a thorough presentation turns on words such as treated, enhanced, healed, filled, drilled, oiled.

Cupid, Draw Back Your Bow: The Mythological Messages of Cameos

many antique cameos are masterpieces of miniature art, but they don’t have to be centuries old to generate demand. some of the treasures of modern cameo art rival the best sculptural work of ancient artisans and are eagerly sought by collectors. furthermore, collectors know a secret the jeweler needs to learn: the cameos with the greatest appeal are those with a message, usually one of love.

Borrow Now Even If You Don’t Need To

most people know to buy health insurance when they’re healthy and life insurance when they’re young. but do jewelers think of borrowing money when interest rates are low and the industry is experiencing one of its longest growth cycles ever? apparently not, based on a recent poll we conducted.

To the Brink and Back

“i made decisions with my heart instead of my head,” says third-generation jeweler david felstein. overextended and slow to react to a changing market, hillman jewelers of terre haute, ind., filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1995 after 61 years in business. now that the business has emerged from bankruptcy leaner yet stronger, the founder’s grandson and company pre…

’NetNews

mason box co. redesigns web site the mason box co., north attleboro, mass., has redesigned its web site (www.masonbox.com), enabling customers to view all products in the company’s 40-page catalog and place orders by e-mail or fax. the site also includes special promotional offers. visitors to the site can order any of the company’s 1,200 items, including shipping and utility boxes,…

The One Thing Jewelers Shouldn’t Carry

a florida jeweler suspected a “customer” was going to draw a weapon, so he pulled his own gun and prepared to fire. “i beat him to the draw,” he said. there was only one problem. he forgot to take the safety off. the gun wouldn’t fire, but the intruder had no such handicap.

FashionFacets

the master stroke san francisco’s revere academy, a professional school for jewelry production and design, is completing its second masters’ symposium this month. not for the faint of heart, this course features instruction in metalsmithing’s most demanding disciplines, such as granulation, cloisonné enameling, gem carving, and “metalmorphosis,” new interpreta…

‘Out-of-the-Box’ Store Design

the first time architect joel miroglio designed a jewelry store, he won a national award. it was more than beginner’s luck. miroglio followed up on that 1996 award—from visual merchandising and store design (vm+sd) magazine and the institute for store planners—with honorable mentions for his next two jewelry stores.

Pearls, Diamonds Take Center Stage at Hong Kong

japan used to account for more than a third of hong kong’s jewelry exports. today its share of that $1.3 billion output has plummeted to 7%. who’s making up for this loss? america’s jewelers, who now more than ever are vital to hong kong’s jewelry industry, the world’s fourth largest.

Trade Shows

vicenza oro2 ’99 sets conferences several conferences devoted to precious stones and metals will take place at vicenzaoro2 ’99, the trade fair in vicenza, italy, being held june 12-17. the world gold council’s sixth international symposium on gold jewellery technology is scheduled for sunday, june 13.

On the Other Hand, Diamonds!

when a woman wears a diamond ring on her left hand, its significance is clear: she’s bound in holy matrimony or about to take the plunge. the custom developed from an ancient legend that a special nerve or vein runs from the fourth finger of the left hand to the heart, and today’s sweethearts are reluctant to buck tradition.

Gemology’s Outer Limits

despite all the grumbling over price lists and grading reports, the diamond industry has had it relatively easy. while the colored-gem market has been roiled by treatments and synthetics, the diamond scene has had to deal only with fracture-filling and the occasional simulant like cubic zirconia and moissanite.

Finally: The Next Tennis Bracelet

few events have profoundly affected the jewelry industry as much as the day tennis star chris evert dropped her diamond bracelet in front of thousands of spectators and millions of television viewers. because of one bad clasp, the classic diamond line bracelet, newly nicknamed a “tennis bracelet,” suddenly topped everywoman’s jewelry wish list.

Jewelers’ ‘Most Wanted’

the jewelry industry’s own version of the fbi’s 10 most wanted list—the “most wanted” page of the jewelers’ security alliance web site (http://jsa.polygon.net)—is less than two years old but is gaining the attention of jewelers and law-enforcement officials. the page displays photographs (seen here) and names of individuals suspected of crimes against j…

Up Front

jck announces two promotions shawn mery has been appointed publisher and frank dallahan associate publisher of the jck international publishing group, announced rick bay, group vice president of jck and cahners business information, which publishes the magazine. “the outstanding job done by shawn mery as associate publisher and frank dallahan as executive director of trade relations merit…

Facing Fear: Jewelers and Guns

it’s the scenario every jeweler dreads. a man comes into your store and asks to see something in your showcase. before you know it, he’s pointing a gun at your head. everything you’ve worked for is about to be taken. more frighteningly, your life itself is at stake. the jewelers’ security alliance, jewelers mutual insurance co.

Retailer News

shareholders shop on ‘berkshire sunday’ about 7,000 berkshire hathaway shareholders took a break during their annual may meeting for the special “berkshire sunday” shopping day at borsheim’s fine jewelry and gifts in omaha, neb. berkshire hathaway, headed by chairman warren buffett, is the majority owner of borsheim’s, and this annual shopping event is one of the m…

Marketing the Millennium

the historic occasion of the big calendar change offers jewelers unique sales opportunities, sayslynn ramsey, executive director of the jewelry information center. the advent of the third millennium offers jewelers a unique sales opportunity that occurs, well, only once in a thousand years. “jewelry is an occasion-driven product, and jewelers have the most historic occasion in our lives …

GemNotes

burma ruby is focus of heated debate if you thought last month’s article on ruby enhancements posed a complication that can be sidestepped through simple disclosure (“truth or consequences: the case for full disclosure of ruby treatment,” jck, may 1999, p. 190), there’s more to the problem.

DiamondNotes

ags plans cut grades for fancy shapes the american gem society lab is known for its round brilliant cut grades, and now it plans to offer certs for fancy shapes as well. at the recent ags conclave in new orleans, the lab’s board authorized director peter yantzer to develop a system for grading fancy-shaped diamond cuts.

Supplier News

pulsar begins ‘retail push’ in a major overhaul of its merchandising strategy, pulsar has substantially boosted ad support for retail jewelry clients, expanded its promotional wares, added state-of-the-art collections to its core, and strengthened its three-year warranty to cover virtually everything inside and outside a watch.

The Secrets to Sound Financial Management

improving your financial efficiency ultimately allows you to manage your store instead of allowing the store to manage you. some retailers manage to survive by implementing short-term tactics in response to immediate financial concerns. more successful retailers thrive thanks to a detailed financial strategy that’s part of their long-term plan.

CounterPoint

welcome to a new era in communications the business world is entering a new era of communication. consider a few items recently reported in the wall street journal: these trends are of tremendous importance for retail jewelers and the manufacturers who supply them with goods and services. even so, these technological marvels should be kept in perspective.

New Ways to Fight Crime

a loaded handgun, cell phone, silent alarm button, remote beeper to open and close the front door, and cctv monitor share space with a sink and a toilet in the bathroom of paul’s jewelry store in a suburb of chicago. after being locked inside his bathroom during two robberies, paul—who requested that his full name not be used—is taking no chances.

What’s New Bench & Lab

the diamond proover ii is a thermal probe and a reflectometer in a single instrument, enabling users to test moissanite as well as cubic zirconia, diamond, and other gemstones. the microprocessor-controlled device operates on battery or ac/dc currents and comes with a one-year warranty. btr inc., 52 park ave.

Getting the Insurance You Need: 12 Strategies That Work

with loaded handguns at the ready and the will to kill, five men tunneled a 3-ft. hole in a ninth-floor wall of a building in midtown manhattan. they had come to steal $1 million in gold from goldarama gold manufacturing co. on west 45th street. thanks to an anonymous tip, the crooks emerged from the hole to find the nypd-fbi joint bank robbery task force waiting for them.

Associations

increased attendance at ags conclave the american gem society’s april conclave in new orleans, aptly themed “designing your profits,” attracted 825 retailers, up from 706 last year. it was the first time in 12 years that the annual event drew more than 800 jewelers. the conclave supplier show, managed for the first time by the jck shows staff, featured 91 vendors, compared wit…

BusinessReport

e-mail: an effective marketing tool you’ve heard a lot about internet retailing. less publicized but perhaps just as important for jewelers is the internet’s power to help strengthen relationships with customers. jewelers are only beginning to tap this potential, using e-mail newsletters, e-mail direct mail, and e-mail gift reminders.

Can Service Merchandise Survive?

when service merchandise finally filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on march 27, few in the retailing community were surprised. the jewelry/home goods specialty retailer, based in brentwood, tenn., has struggled for years. as the last major survivor of the catalog showroom format that prospered in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, service has seen its sales and profits slip in rece…

Letters

did pearl report mislead? an exchange of views in his report “chinese pearls a hit in tucson” (jck, april 1999, p. 28), gary roskin presents a picture of a large black strand of freshwater pearls, implying they could someday be a threat to the tahitian pearl market. what he fails to report is that the freshwater pearls are color-dyed.

What’s New Business Services

spectral gems inc. has released the colorgrid, a single-page laminated color coordination chart. the nontechnical sales aid does not require training to use. it contains 544 separate rectangles of color that can be used to describe gemstones. spectral gems inc., 999 haynes, suite 360, birmingham, mi 48009; (800) 637-4367, fax (888) 637-4367, e-mail: gemdigital@cs.

People

nathan light joins new jewelry venture nathan r. light has been named president of n.e.w. customer service companies’ jewelry protection division. the sterling, va., firm administers extended service contracts and other buyer protection programs on behalf of retailers, manufacturers, and financial services firms.

What’s New Catalogs

hms has produced a redesigned 200-page catalog featuring more than 1,000 new styles. designs are offered in platinum as well as 18k, 14k, and 10k gold. an index and a triple keystone price list have been added to facilitate countertop use. hms, 4385 sunbelt dr., addison, tx 75001; (800) hms-gold, fax (800) fax-gold.